Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Azevedo

Paula J. Azevedo

Principal, dash design

Paula J. Azevedo, Principal of dash design's Miami office, hospitality believes design is a celebration of life and its many textures. “Our environments inspire us. The places I've lived, the people I've met, where I've traveled—all of that influences my design approach” she says. “It's a discovery process, and I carry those experiences forward, gaining new perspectives, understanding and relevant design ideas.” Ms. Azevedo brings over 20 years of interior and architectural design experience, an extensive, nuanced understanding of the hospitality business, and a passion for collaboration and cultivating young talent. “Our best design work happens when clients and the creative team collaborate, resulting in an end product that is on point and innovative,” Ms. Azevedo says. “It's all about strategic thinking and understanding the details.” Prior to working at dash design, Ms. Azevedo was Principal of her own collaborative design consulting firm at pja Create Studios. The firm flourished under her client service, original design and keen business commitment. There, she oversaw luxury hospitality hotels and spas, destination resorts and multifaceted commercial projects. As a Design Director at Gettys, Ms. Azevedo helped build the Miami office and establish its South Florida presence. As part of the senior leadership, she contributed to the growth and development of the design team. To projects throughout the United States, the Caribbean, and Latin America, Ms. Azevedo brought trademark rigor, practiced problem solving, and inspired, big-picture concepts. She oversaw such noteworthy design projects as the Ritz Carlton in Coconut Grove and Key Biscayne, Florida; Hard Rock Hotel & Resort in Punta Cana, DR and Cancun, Mexico, among others. Ms. Azevedo holds a Bachelors of Environmental Design from Texas A&M University, and is certified through the National Council for Independent Design Qualification (NCIDQ). She is a licensed interior designer with the State of Florida, as well as a professional member of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA). Ms. Azevedo understands green building design, and is a LEED® AP. She is a former adjunct professor at Miami Dade College.

Please visit www.dashdesign.net for more information.

Ms. Azevedo can be contacted at 305-809-6155 or pazevedo@dashdesign.net

Coming up in March 2020...

Human Resources: Confronting a Labor Shortage

With the unemployment rate at its lowest level in decades (3.7%), what has always been a perennial problem for human resource professionals - labor shortage - is now reaching acute levels of concern. It is getting harder to find and recruit qualified applicants. Even finding candidates with the skills to succeed in entry-level positions has become an issue. In addition, employee turnover rates remain extremely high in the hotel industry. As a result of these problems, hotel HR managers are having to rethink their recruitment strategies in order to hire the right talent for the right job. First, hotels have been forced to raise their wages and offer other appealing perks, as a way to attract qualified candidates. Secondly, HR managers are reassessing their interviewing techniques, focusing less on the answers they receive to questions and more on observable behavior. Part of this process includes role-playing during the interview, so that the recruiter can gauge how a candidate works through specific problems and interacts with other team members. Additionally, some HR managers are also creating internal talent pools as a way to address labor shortages. Instead of utilizing department resources to find new hires with specific skills for needed positions, hotels are cultivating talent pools internally and preparing their employees to assume leadership roles whenever the time comes. They are also placing greater emphasis on a company culture that is more performance-based, as a way to curb employee turnover, increase employee satisfaction, and assure higher levels of customer service. Finally, recognizing the importance of employee retention as a way to lessen the impact of a tight labor market, some HR managers are instituting generous reward programs in order to retain their top performers. The March Hotel Business Review will explore what some HR professionals are doing to address these and other issues in their departments.